Written by Georgette Adrianne & Hannah Bain
Carolina for Kibera’s (CFK) Tabitha Maternity Home celebrated its one-year anniversary on September 23, 2020. Opened in response to community need and with community feedback, the maternity home seeks to improve maternal and child health outcomes in Kibera. Though the maternal mortality rate in Kenya has been declining, it is still approximately 62% higher than the global average, and women living in informal settlements are even more vulnerable to the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
Like CFK’s Tabitha Medical Clinic, the maternity home is named after the late CFK co-founder and Kiberan nurse, Tabitha Festo, who established the organization’s first clinic with just $26 U.S. dollars and had a dream of serving the healthcare needs of women and children.
“There is satisfaction in serving over 60,000 people every year with comprehensive healthcare services, but there is greater satisfaction in realizing that this was born out of $26 and a compassionate dream,” said CFK Executive Director, Hillary Omala.
To date, the facility has served 2,248 patients, 660 of whom are maternity patients, and staff have facilitated the delivery of 416 babies. In addition to providing antenatal care, delivery, and education during pregnancy and childbirth, the Tabitha Maternity Home also supports mothers with healthcare resources for the first 1,000 days of their child’s development.
CFK celebrated the maternity home’s first anniversary with a community event, which culminated in the presentation of the organization’s first-ever ambulance. The ambulance will allow CFK to provide affordable, potentially life-saving, emergency transportation to residents in Kibera.
The event also included a range of activities hosted by CFK staff, including a skit highlighting the services available at the facility. Ruth, a midwife at the maternity home, presented a poem titled “Circle of Push,” which discussed the process leading up to the birth of a child. In celebration, CFK also shared gifts including food, water containers, baby products, and bags to some of the first mothers and children served at the maternity home. Staff ended the proceedings by taking a ride through Kibera in the ambulance, advertising the affordable services available at the Tabitha Maternity Home.
The future of maternal and child health in Kibera and surrounding areas is brighter thanks to the Tabitha Maternity Home and CFK’s new ambulance.
“The work of CFK has made a significant difference in people’s lives in Kibera. Now we know the kind of difference we want to make in the future,” said Hillary.
Learn more about CFK’s Tabitha Maternity Home.